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Sunday, April 26, 2009

7:30 P.M., CAFE SALSA, ALEXANDRIA

Patrick: I work way out in Virginia, and the only bus to the Metro comes every half-hour, so it was either get there early or late. So I got there around 7 and got our table. I was [doing] class work when she came in.

Kate: The waiter brought me over to the table. With a name like Patrick I was kind of expecting an Irish guy. He was nice-looking, but I tend not to find Asians attractive. I tried to be as open-minded as possible.

Patrick: I found her attractive. She had short brown hair and was wearing fashionable glasses. She was smiling a lot. [But] I was feeling pretty neutral. It had been a long time since I [applied to Date Lab]. I work 35 hours a week, and I have class in the evening. Even before the date, I was asking myself, Why did I say I'd go out?

Kate: We both ordered drinks really fast because we both really wanted to try the mojitos. I asked what he was working on, and it was a little weird. He went into, "You know I got here early because of the buses . . ." and never said. I asked again, and he said it was something for law school. I was a little put off. It was like he wasn't sure if I would understand it.

Patrick: For attorney purposes, you have to keep everything confidential. We talked for a while and, when the waitress came by, ordered empanadas as an appetizer.

Kate: We both ended up getting steak for dinner. I figured if I got him talking about something he was comfortable with, then the conversation would start flowing. He is at George Mason Law, and I am looking to go to Mason to get a master's. It came up that [the school] is a big libertarian hotbed. Normally that sort of thing leads into at least a brief political conversation. He dropped the subject. I appreciate that you're not "supposed" to talk politics early on, but it's D.C. The guys I tend to be attracted to wouldn't be intimidated in that situation.

Patrick: I don't normally associate [political talk] with meeting someone new. [But] the conversation kept going. We had a lot of common interests. We grew up in the same area. We also both speak a little bit of German. She mentioned that she was interested in dancing. I used to dance, but I've been so busy that it doesn't happen much.

Kate: The only partner dancing he does is swing, which I don't do. [But] it didn't really matter. Just by the way the conversation was going, I was already pretty sure I wasn't interested. The biggest problem wasn't looks. It was that there was no conflict or even playfully insulting banter.

Patrick: We talked like we were acquaintances. There were no awkward silences, [but] there was no sexual tension [either].

Kate: We were too full for dessert. He was talking about how he had to go to work early in the morning. It was a little after 10.

Patrick: We left and walked a couple blocks up the street to her car. She gave me her number, and we hugged. My impression was that there wasn't much interest in pursuing anything.

Kate: I give the date a 3.5 [out of 5].

Patrick: I give the date a 3. Nothing really jumped out to make me more interested.

Interviews by Stephen Lowman

Update: Patrick left Kate a message, but the two never connected.

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